Indiana took care of business and handed 2-0 Michigan their first loss of the season. The Hoosiers continued their impressive form in the Big Ten and logged their third clean sheet. After a strong start to the season, Michigan will be disappointed with their performance.
Indiana made a statement right away scoring in the third minute through full back Casey Smith. The Wolverine defense could not make the necessary adjustments and execute when it mattered most and so the Indiana offense kept coming. Flanker Dakota Worth scored back to back tries in the 12th and 17th minutes to make the lead 21-0. Experienced veterans Tyler Graham and Teddy Terazis followed their teammates past the try line fifteen minutes before half time.
The Hoosiers “defense was solid and forced a lot of errors out of us by winning the point of contact after multiple phases” said Michigan Coach Brandon Sparks; “it’s a special group of players who are playing aggressive rugby.” This smothering defense opens up the dynamic Indiana offense and is telling of the usual Hoosier score lines thus far.
Alexander Dorrier, Tyler Sousley, Reese Oberlin each collect tries and extended the lead to 54-0 through the start of the second half. Teddy Terezis and Casey Smith bookend the affair with their second tries, cementing the final score, Indiana 68, Michigan 0.
Last season’s encounter between the two ended 41-7 in favor of Indiana. Michigan knew this was supposed to be their toughest challenge and will be dissatisfied with their execution. The Wolverines did manage to create scoring chance by putting together good phase play and breaking the line, but could not find the focus necessary to score on Indiana.
According to Coach Sparks, Michigan “still have 3 big matches coming up and the only thing in our control now is the effort and intensity that we attack those matches with”. The Wolverines will have to learn from their disappointing loss to Indiana to prepare for the week five matchup against Michigan State. The Michigan backline also sustained two injuries early in the match losing both winger Juan Aguirre and outside center Ronald Marine.
Indiana will square off against Iowa next week in Iowa City, IA before they welcome Notre Dame and Wisconsin to Bloomington, IN in the following weeks.